Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to common questions regarding COVID-19 and OSU's response. Questions and answers are updated frequently, so check back often for more information.

Eighty hours of paid leave is federally mandated. Eighty hours of leave is available to all OSU employees, regardless of the funding source that provides salary (e.g. state funding, grant funding, gift or alternative funding). Individuals paid on grants will be entitled to the leave in the same way as other OSU employees, and their salary should continue to be charged to the grant and other indices per allowability guidelines regardless of usage of COVID leave or other leave. 


If an alternative funding mechanism materializes at a future date, we will assist in moving labor charges as appropriate, but no such funding mechanism is currently available.


The total amount of COVID-19 leave hours will be pro-rated by FTE or average hours worked for part time employees.

Last updated: March 5, 2021

All OSU employees:

Employees who are not able to perform their duties remotely and cannot be reassigned to other work for the sponsored project and have exhausted COVID-19 Leave, accrued paid leave and any supplemental programs (as listed below), cannot continue to get paid for work that has not been rendered. This applies to all sources of salary funding (state, gift, grant, other funding). If you believe that you or an employee will be in this situation, please contact your Human Resources (HR) Strategic Partner.

OSU research employees:

OSU encourages principal investigators and research supervisors to identify meaningful work for research employees that brings value to the university’s mission and advances a research project and scholarship. During the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to the extent possible, PIs and supervisors should reassign graduate research assistants, research associates and faculty research assistants to undertake work that might fall outside of an originally intended work plan but still is in keeping with the intent of the project or grant and advances their research.

Last updated: July 21, 2020

Research facilities are only currently open and available as specified in formally approved individual research resumption plans. Researchers should consult with their principal investigators, department heads, deans or the vice president for research, as appropriate, to learn more. Research resumption guidance and the formal research resumption request form can be accessed at the COVID-19 Safety & Success for Researchers website.

Last updated: July 6, 2020

OSU is keeping track of any leave that a grant-funded employee used because they could not work due to COVID-19 so that the costs on grants due to the COVID-19 crisis can be documented and communicated.  Employees who are not able to perform their duties remotely and have exhausted COVID-19 leave should use accrued sick leave and vacation (when applicable). For more details, see details on the HR COVID-19 Leave page.

If an employee is using accrued sick, vacation of other leave (other than COVID-19) because they cannot perform their duties due to COVID-19, they should indicate this when recording the leave (see instructions).

Last updated: April 8, 2020

Until further notice, all non-essential domestic and international OSU-sponsored travel remains suspended. The process for requesting exceptions is addressed in a separate question.

For domestic travel, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown indicates that it is essential for the health, safety and welfare of the state of Oregon during the ongoing state of emergency that individuals continue to stay at or near their home or place of residence when possible. Please check the Oregon Health Authority and Office of the Governor for the most current guidance and restrictions in Oregon. Here are considerations for domestic travelers from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). We further encourage travelers to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation while away.

For international travel, OSU remains under a travel suspension, which applies regardless of the CDC Notice or State Department Advisory Level. When the OSU travel suspension is revised or lifted, considerations will be made according to the OSU International Travel Policy, the then-current CDC and State notices and advisories, as well as changing pandemic-related travel conditions. 

We are very much looking forward to resuming international travel as soon as conditions allow. Please contact the OSU Office of Global Opportunities (OSUGO) for the most current information on the status of study abroad programs and international travel destinations, new virtual options, or to petition for an exemption to the travel suspension.

Please also be aware that countries are implementing various international and internal movement restrictions and enforcing curfews, which could significantly limit your ability to travel freely during the pandemic.

Commercial air travel options can be very limited to and from certain locations. The best resources for inquiries about flight availability are individual air carriers serving each country or a private travel agency.

Please follow these standard precautions whether traveling domestically or internationally:

CDC Testing and International Air Travel Recommendations

  • Travelers should get a viral test 1-3 days before and 2–5 days after their flight. (Wait for your test results to come back before you travel. If your test result is positive, immediately isolate yourself and follow public health recommendations. Do not travel if your test result is positive.)
  • A negative test does not mean that you were not exposed or that you will not develop COVID-19.
  • Make sure to wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet from others, wash your hands, and watch your health for signs of illness while traveling.
  • Keep a copy of your test results with you during travel. Airport, airline, or other authorities may ask you for them.
  • Get tested 2–5 days after your flight, and stay home for 14 days after returning from your trip.
  • Watch for symptoms for a full 14 days after travel, immediately isolate yourself if you develop symptoms, and follow public health recommendations.
  • In addition to testing, take steps to limit exposures and avoid higher-risk activities for 14 days before your trip. All travelers with a known exposure to COVID-19 should quarantine, delay travel for 14 days after exposure, test themselves, and monitor their health.
  • Regardless of where you traveled or what you did during your trip, take these everyday actions to protect others from getting COVID-19:
    • Stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who did not travel with you. It is important to do this everywhere -- both indoors and outdoors.
    • Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when you are in shared spaces, outside of your home, including when using public transportation.
    • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
    • Watch your health: Look for symptoms of COVID-19, and take your temperature if you feel sick.
    • Follow all state, territorial, tribal, and local recommendations or requirements after travel.

While Traveling

  • Travel with a full supply of any regular medications. Prescription medications should always be packaged in original containers.
  • Travel with all key documents, including health insurance, passport and official identification.
  • Keep cell phones charged and operational; check email daily; consider getting an extra battery or power bank.
  • If you develop symptoms, call your insurance provider, the local health care facility, hotline or national emergency number to seek medical advice. Follow the procedure for your location. When travelling to a medical facility, consider wearing a mask, using private transport and avoiding close contact with others as much as possible.
  • Continue to stay informed about your travel destinations by checking the U.S. State Department and U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) websites; registering for the STEP Program or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country of citizenship; monitoring local news; and consulting with your international insurance provider.
  • Follow the directives of local authorities at both the national and municipal level.
  • Be prepared to remain in one location for up to 14 days.
  • Communicate with OSU while traveling through the International Health, Safety, and Travel Coordinator (Samuel Gras)

Travel Health Precautions

  • Wash hands thoroughly and often for 20 seconds or more with soap, or use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
  • Practice Social Distancing: avoid enclosed crowded places, keep six-ten feet (2-3 meters) away from others or wear a mask.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces like phone, keyboard, doorknobs, desks, tablets.
  • Cover if cough and sneeze into elbow or tissue; throw tissue away.
  • Get adequate sleep, eat well-balanced meals, stay hydrated with water and electrolytes, use high-quality vitamins to support a healthy immune system.
  • Avoid touching mouth, eyes, and nose until after washing hands with soap and water.

U.S. Inbound international Travel

Updated Jan. 25, 2021

Until further notice, all non-essential domestic and international OSU-travel remains suspended.

Current locations with restrictions on entering the U.S. from international travel can be found in the White House Proclamation and at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

For information about travel restrictions between Canada, Mexico and the USA, please reference the Department of Homeland Security Fact Sheet.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance for those returning to the U.S. from abroad can be found at CDC After Travel Precautions.

  •  Those arriving to Oregon from all locations should:
    • Monitor their health and practice social distancing.
    • If they get sick with a fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, or have trouble breathing:
      • Seek medical advice from insurance, personal doctor, or student health. Call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
      • Tell health professional about recent travel and symptoms.
      • Avoid close contact with others.
      • Do not travel while sick.
Last updated: January 25, 2021

The COVID-19 leave will be paid and charged to departments under the same process as current sick leave. Grants will be responsible for this unanticipated expense.

Last updated: March 24, 2020

There may be situations where you find that a grant-funded student or staff member is not able to perform their duties, and you may have questions about continuing to charge their time to your grant. Under these conditions, the staff member should utilize the federally-mandated 80-hour COVID leave. Note that, following OSU leave policies, the leave will be applied proportionally to all indices associated with the labor distribution of the staff member, including grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, gift, or other funds.

If an employee has used up their COVID leave and all other leave balances but still cannot perform their duties, please contact your assigned Human Resources Strategic Partner or a member of the Employee and Labor Relations Team to discuss the details of the situation.

Last updated: March 31, 2020